1. What does motherhood look like for you right now?
I am the mother of 3 children. Griffin, my firstborn, is 8 and my twin girls, Lola and Mary will soon be 5. While motherhood is my most important (and challenging) role, I am also a career woman. I have been a local television news reporter for 18 years.
2. What do you love about where you are?
My husband and I often say we’re approaching the “sweet spot” of parenting. Our kids aren’t babies or toddlers anymore, and they don’t need us like they used to. No more diapers, no more middle of the night feeds, and no more tantrums (well, at least not that often). And yet, the kids still want us around. They still need us emotionally. So we are able to have a little more independence as people, and as a couple, but all 3 of my kids still allow me to kiss and cuddle them as much as I want. And I am obsessed with cuddling!
3. What would you change?
This seems a little contradictory to my last statement, but I wish I could stop the clock. My twins just started transitional kindergarten at our local elementary school, and I have had a really hard time coming to grips with the fact that I will never have another preschooler again. I love that my children are growing and thriving, but I feel like I am going to blink and they will be headed off to college. Because of these feelings, I am really trying to live in the moment, and savor every stage of their childhood; but it’s hard to do that when you’re working full time, and raising 3 kids. Our house can be very chaotic, and I am constantly trying to find more patience with them.
4. How have you incorporated motherhood into your identity without losing your own individuality?
Well, I am not great about this. I rarely take time for myself. This stems from the guilt I have for being away from my kids during the week while I am at work. I feel bad taking any time away from them on weeknights, or on the weekend.
I find that I am either Kristine, the mom or Kristine, the employee. I need to be Kristine, the person, much more. I imagine this will come more easily as the kids continue to grow and gain their own independence. I will say, however, that I really don’t want to be away from them when I am home from work. I truly enjoy spending time with my kids. Weekends are for family, and I turn a lot of invites down if the whole gang isn’t welcome.
5. What advice would you give women considering/desiring motherhood?
If you know you want to be a mom, don’t put it off. It can be easy to say “Oh, I have time. Let me just work on my career first, or save more money, or travel more…” While I am all about making sure you enjoy life and marriage (or partnership) before you have kids, I see so many of my peers put it off because they’re waiting for the “perfect time” when there never will be the perfect time. When I got pregnant with my first, my husband was in between careers and I was a freelance reporter with no job security. I was 31, and I didn’t want to wait any longer, and I am so glad I didn’t.
I would also encourage women to not think they have to choose between motherhood and a career. While we can’t have it all, we can have enough. I can be enough of a mother and enough of an employee. I do believe I am a better mother because of my career.
Not only do I make the most of the time I do spend with my kids, because it is limited, but my kids get to see me pursue my passion. I grew up with a working mother (she was a biochemist), and I remember being so in awe of her dedication and drive. I try to bring my kids to my work as often as I can, so they can be proud of me, too.
6. One fun fact about me: my twins were spontaneous, meaning we didn’t do any fertility treatments. It was a shock to us, because I don’t really have twins in my family, BUT my husband is a twin (although having twins runs on the mother’s side, not the father’s, so it’s just coincidence that he is a twin and we had twins). So I am parenting a second generation of twins. I now fancy myself a bit of a twin expert!